One of the riskier bets in the NFL is taking an underdog on the money line. However, the payouts can be massive, provided you are able to identify some teams that have a legitimate shot to pull off an upset.
Let’s take a look at some of the squads that are getting points on the spread in Week 11, but actually might be worth taking straight up.
*Point spreads and money line totals courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com. Home teams in CAPS.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+3.5/+170) over Baltimore Ravens
This heated AFC North rivalry can go either way, which is why we are giving the edge to the home team.
With Big Ben in the lineup, the Steelers will definitely have a shot of winning, but backup Byron Leftwich is more than capable and the running game will be boosted by Rashard Mendenhall’s return to the lineup (he’s currently listed as “probable”).
Baltimore’s defense has been decimated by injuries to top LB Ray Lewis and CB Lardarius Webb, so we are predicting this feisty Steelers squad to win.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (+4.5/+180) over New Orleans Saints
The Saints did the improbable and knocked off the undefeated Atlanta Falcons in Week 10, but have a tough matchup all the way in Oakland this coming Sunday.
Sure, the Raiders haven’t picked up a victory since Week 8 in Kansas City, but we love their chances in the Black Hole against New Orleans.
Oakland is currently .500 at home (2-2) and has traditionally fared well when playing in front of its loyal supporters. The Saints are just 1-3 out on the road in 2012, and have yet to prove they can win a physical matchup away from the Superdome.
Taking the points is certainly an option, but those who want to cash in should play the Raiders ML at plus-180 or higher.
Cleveland Browns (+7.5/+300) over DALLAS COWBOYS
This is an exciting long shot bet that could reap massive rewards for those who back the Browns.
Which team will win?
While the Browns are awful on the road (0-4), Dallas hasn’t been consistent with home-field advantage and is just 1-2 when playing at Cowboys Stadium.
Considering Cleveland is coming off a bye and has some much needed rest, we like a rejuvenated Trent Richardson to run all over the place on Sunday and the Browns D to force a number of boneheaded Tony Romo turnovers.